Target employee delivers 350K signatures opposing Black Thursday - KMSP-TV

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Target employee delivers 350K signatures opposing Black Thursday

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

On Monday, an employee of Target hand-delivered a petition containing 350,000 signatures urging the company to reverse its decision to open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The petition, which was started by a six-year Target employee via Change.org, urges Target to "take the high road and save Thanksgiving," and seeks a total of half-million signatures online.

Casey St. Clair, community faith leaders and Target customers carried the boxes of signatures inside Target headquarters and delivered them to the office of Gregg Steinhafel, president and CEO.

In response to the delivery, Target's vice president of human resources, Tim Curoe, offered the following statement:

"The enormity of asking some of our store teams to work on Thanksgiving night is not lost on us. We recognize some team members are cutting short time with their families to work. And so, once again, to our team, and to their families and friends, we say thank you.

"And yet, we've heard from many of our team members that they are supportive of our plans, excited to get additional hours, holiday and incentive pay, and understand the need to compete.

"Hundreds of stores had more volunteers wanting to work than shifts to fill. We appreciate the enthusiasm and understanding our team members have shown as they help Target deliver an outstanding shopping experience to our guests on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year.

"We have been talking with our teams since we announced our opening hours to make sure they are comfortable with their scheduled shifts and had plenty of opportunity to express concern. We have also adjusted team member schedules if necessary. All team members working on Thanksgiving and certain hours on Friday will receive additional pay. And we're taking extra steps to make sure we help maintain our team's health and well-being throughout their shifts."


Yet, St. Clair challenged the characterization of the holiday zeal Curoe described, saying workers across several states were never consulted on their holiday preferences. In fact, St. Clair claims her store displayed "blackout dates" -- including Thanksgiving, which employees were not allowed to ask off.

"If that's not a policy mandating people work on Thanksgiving, I don't know what is," St. Clair said. "As team members, we weren't consulted about the opening plans and didn't even learn about the Thanksgiving opening until we received our schedules."

St. Clair also argued that the petition shows customers do not want to shop on Thanksgiving.

"They're all saying the same thing: 'Thanksgiving should be about family, not shopping,'" St. Clair said. "Black Friday is one thing; turning Thanksgiving from a family holiday into a consumer spectacle is another."

The effort asking retailers to reconsider a Thanksgiving Day opening is not isolated to Target. More than 130 petitions have been created on Change.org to ask major retailers -- including Walmart, Sears and Kohls -- to open their doors on Friday instead.

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